Letters to Sports: Nothing superstitious about Clippers

·8 min read
Clippers center Ivica Zubac, right, and Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell battle for position June 10, 2021.
Clippers center Ivica Zubac, right, and Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell battle for position under the basket in Game 2 of the teams' playoff series Thursday night. (Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

Congratulations to Times reporter Andrew Greif for managing to write an entire story about the Clippers’ first-round win over the Dallas Mavericks without using the word “curse,” unlike one of his superstitious colleagues.

Rhys Thomas

Valley Glen

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Great! Another guarantee by Plaschke. He said that the Clippers will finally get into the conference finals ... just when I need new hedge clippers.

Doesn’t Plaschke remember that he guaranteed that the Chiefs would win the Super Bowl and I got a new lawnmower? I wonder which neighbor I can con into this bet?

Jonathan Goldstein

La Jolla

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Winners dominate games by impressing their style of play on their opponent. Losers are incapable of domination, so they react instead. The Clippers so far have been reactionary in the playoffs. The proof is in the many different starting lineups and varieties of bench players.

Richard Raffalow

Valley Glen

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If the Clippers lose this series, I don’t want to hear words like “choke” or “curse.” The Jazz had the best regular-season record in the NBA, and the Clippers already proved plenty against the Mavericks.

Andrew Sacks

Riverside

Purple drain

After watching Anthony Davis for the past two years, there are two simple conclusions. First, when healthy and with a desire to play hard, he is a fabulous player who is almost unstoppable. Second, unfortunately he is obviously injury prone.

Most concerning is his on-again, off-again desire to play hard. One game he looks great and the next he does not show up and looks very soft. James, Jordan, Bryant, Johnson, etc., came to play each and every night.

If Davis is the future of the Lakers once an aging James leaves and he does not alter his approach to the game both mentally and physically, then the Lakers are in big trouble concerning future results.

Bruce Olson

Upland

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To suggest the Lakers would have been better off keeping Randle, Ingram, Ball, Clarkson and Russell, instead of acquiring LeBron and AD, is like saying the Lakers would have been better off keeping Darrall Imhoff, Archie Clark and Jerry Chambers instead of trading for Wilt, or that it was foolish for them to trade Elmore Smith, Brian Winters, Junior Bridgeman and Dave Meyers for Kareem.

The 17 NBA championships were not built by having good players; they are the product of having superstars. The Lakers are a testament to this winning formula more than any franchise.

Ken Feldman

Tarzana

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Of the eight teams remaining in the NBA playoffs, seven were in the top 10 for best three-point percentage in the regular season. And Atlanta was 11th. The Lakers were tied for 23rd. Somebody please tell Rob Pelinka it's a three-point league now and he's got to bring in some shooters who can fill it up from deep!

Bennett Tramer

Santa Monica

Spin doctors

So, if this ball doctoring was known to so many, where were the stories from the baseball journalists? Especially when, according to Dylan Hernández, it may mean no second world championship for the Dodgers.

Shouldn’t the fans who read The Times be among the first to know?

Love to hear your spin on this lapse.

John P. Lindsay

San Luis Obispo

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As of Monday, the No. 10 hitter in the National League was hitting .280. In the American League, .297. It’s the second week in June. At this point Rod Carew and George Brett were hitting .400 and threatening to do it for the season. While pitchers are loading up the ball like Lester Hayes loaded up his hands, and everyone’s been just fine with it; while hitters are worried about their launch angle, and managers are afraid to give a “take” sign after a pitcher has just thrown six straight balls; the rest of us are wondering what happened to our game.

Mitch Paradise

Los Angeles

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Watching Cubs vs. Padres Monday night game on ESPN. Is being a sophomoric clown a prerequisite to being a baseball announcer/color guy on this network? Just curious.

Bud Chapman

Northridge

More on Osaka

The ignorance shown by two of the three writers of letters regarding Naomi Osaka and her decision not to participate in news conferences while competing proves the point that most people don’t understand how recurring depression works. Ms. Osaka never said her depression is “caused” by speaking to the press. Additionally, she can still have “guts, stamina and talent to overpower the great Serena Williams ...” regardless of suffering from depression. I urge your judgmental readers to educate themselves in order to understand an illness that affects nearly 20 million Americans.

Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Dr. Lise F. Spiegel

Encino

The writer is a psychologist in private practice.

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I’m waiting for more letters about how Roger Federer needs to suck it up and play or find another line of work, just like Naomi Osaka. However I’m pretty sure that the same writers of those letters are OK with Federer listening to his body to protect his physical health but still think Osaka is a slacker for listening to herself to protect her mental health. I just hope they’re not coaching any youth sports.

Martin Wauson

Anaheim

Sorry, Rahm

The PGA Tour needs to reexamine its rules. Jon Rahm had one of the best rounds of his career and had a six-stroke lead at Memorial. When he finished the third round, tour officials told him he had tested positive for COVID. While very serious, obviously Rahm was asymptomatic. Just look at how he played. Rather than deprive him of an important victory, why not have him and his caddie wear a mask except when Rahm hit a shot and have him play last by himself?

I am completely in favor of strong safety rules in this pandemic and have personally acted extremely cautiously, but Rahm deserved a chance to win.

Craig A. Horowitz

Santa Monica

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Apparently, Jon Rahm had been vaccinated but only after coming into contact with an infected person last week. Considering that little more than 50% of tour players are fully vaccinated, speaks to the indifference of the PGA Tour to the severity of the deadly pandemic.

Then, adding insult to injury, were the CBS announcers Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo, who almost gleefully downplayed the absence of Rahm, knowing that it would result in a more interesting broadcast of the final round.

These shameless actions were hardly befitting of the tournament’s host, Jack Nicklaus, who certainly deserved better.

Jim Redhead

San Diego

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The unfortunate forced withdrawal by Jon Rahm merits our group sympathy. However, the manor of notifying Jon publicly, on camera, by the PGA, was despicable and unnecessarily embarrassing. They needed only wait until he was out of sight. Shameful.

Warren Larson

Sunland

Campus cutbacks

The article on Americans losing their Olympic dominance quotes Tom Farrey, who posed the question, “What is the purpose of sports on [college] campus[es]?” Given the cuts they have been made to the non-revenue sports at multiple college campuses across the United States, coupled with the NCAA‘s ongoing resistance to the idea that college athletes should at least be allowed to benefit from the sale of their own names and likenesses, I think we have our answer to his question. The purpose of sports on campus is to make money. It is not as if the answer to his question wasn’t obvious and hasn’t been right in front of us all along.

George W. Serbia

Irvine

Out for a Cruz

Giving Ted Cruz any degree of credence, let alone coverage, is an insult to anyone with even a modicum of intelligence. After all, this is a man who dismissed the need for Planned Parenthood because there isn't a shortage of condoms in America. Cruz's only allegiance is to himself. Paying any attention to Cruz is tantamount to saying my imaginary friend thinks you have serious mental problems.

Bill Waxman

Simi Valley

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Relying on Sen. Ted Cruz to be the “savior” of the 2022 baseball season is akin to depending on Kanye West to adjudicate music awards or Vladimir Putin to certify election results. Better to plan on some leisurely evenings playing catch with your kids than to count on a dysfunctional Senate resolving the unseemly battle between billionaires and millionaires as they divvy up a pot of gold larger than the GDP of a small country.

Dave Sanderson

La Cañada

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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